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yoco :: College Basketball
(a sports weblog) news and commentary on men's college basketball and the ncaa tournament

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Tuesday, November 16, 2004

copy that

I would like an advance copy of Stories from the Big Time, Paul Westphal's forthcoming book. But until the Pepperdine coach completes the bestseller-to-be's final 15 percent, I guess I'll have to settle for snipets from interviews.

He never dreamed he would coach in college. Not again. His first two coaching positions had been at tiny schools in Phoenix, and he had enjoyed himself immensely, but big-time college basketball didn't appeal to him...

"The main thing I was afraid of was, I didn't want to be in a position where I'd have to cheat to get players," Westphal said. "Some of the schools that are out there, it's pretty hard to get good players. Let's put it that way. I'm not saying they cheat everywhere -- I know they don't. But I don't want to lose players to teams that are tempted to get...creative."

SportsLine.com had to ask: Was that another way of saying he had stayed away because he feared he might turn to recruiting's dark side? Midway through the question, Westphal was shaking his head.

"I want to win. I'm as competitive as anyone," he said. "But I think it's demeaning to have to go to high school kids and show up with a bagful of money. I'm not going to do that. At some places, the impression is, if you don't do that you're not going to get players. And if you don't get players, you're not going to win. And if you don't win..."